CLEMSON, S.C. — It is not every week Clemson gets to experience playing in one of the more historical stadiums in college football, that is why head coach Dabo Swinney decided he will change things up a little when the fourth-ranked Tigers arrive in South Bend, Ind., on Friday.
Usually, Clemson will go straight from the airport to its hotel on road trips. However, Swinney decided he will take a little detour on Friday. Instead of going straight to the team hotel, the Tigers will first stop by Notre Dame Stadium, where they face Notre Dame on Saturday night.
“We will swing by the stadium because it is one of those places,” Swinney said following Wednesday’s practice.
This will be the third time this year Clemson has stopped by the stadium after arriving in town. The Tigers had a short walkthrough at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta the day prior to playing Georgia Tech. They also did it when they visited Florida State.
“We will do that occasionally when it is a place that we do not go to very often or have not been to,” Swinney said. “We have a lot of guys that have not been there, so we will swing by their for about 15 minutes and then head to the hotel.”
The Tigers never played in the Mercedes Benz Stadium, so Swinney wanted his players to see it and get used to it. Clemson had not played at Florida State since 2018, so most of the players had never experienced Doak Campbell Stadium, either.
Clemson (8-0) played at Notre Dame in 2020, but that was during the COVID season. This will mark the first time any player will see the stadium filled with 78,000 screaming Irish fans. Only 11,000 people were allowed to watch Notre Dame’s double-overtime victory over the Tigers in person.
“We were thankful to be able to play, but also, at the same time, it was kind of disappointing, especially when you have this vision and you go up there and it is what it is at that time,” Swinney said. “It is exciting to be able to see Notre Dame at its best. I know that is what we will get. We will get the best they got, and we look forward to competing against them.”
The game will kick off Saturday night at 7:30 and will be televised by NBC.